Commemorating National Preparedness Month

In honor of National Preparedness Month, the UMV MRC was involved in a steady stream of activities throughout September. There were major community fairs in Dracut (9/11) and Billerica (9/18), a special Emergency Preparedness Day (9/25), and a first-ever Statewide Microchip Day for Massachusetts (also on 9/25), supported by UMV MRC volunteers at four sites across the region. To cap it off, members celebrated their achievements at a Member Appreciation Dinner (9/28).

We can be proud of all that these members accomplished in those three short weeks. Our volunteers promoted the U.S. Surgeon General's priorities by hosting MRC information booths at regional outdoor events on three consecutive Saturdays. They screened a record number of visitors for hypertension, referring those whose readings were outside of normal limits to their care providers for follow-up. These volunteers also provided FEMA activity books for children, discussed and sold 72-hour emergency kits, and shared tips on preparedness for the whole family, including pets. In doing so, they raised awareness of the MRC, encouraged recruitment, and prepared residents for emergency events.

The volunteers who supported Statewide Microchip Day at four veterinary hospitals helped to register local pets in a national identification registry. The Member Appreciation Dinner included a presentation by a member who had responded multiple times to Haiti, leading medical relief efforts through a nursing organization. The dinner was attended by 90 members who had been active during the past two years, most of whom were involved in our unit's response to the H1N1 pandemic.

Statistics per event:

9/11/10 -- Town of Dracut's tenth annual Old Home Day. Estimates are that over 10,000 area residents attended. Eight volunteers staffed the booth, taking 157 BPs.

9/18/10 -- Billerica's Yankee Doodle Homecoming Weekend, also attended by thousands from across the region. Nine volunteers represented the MRC, taking 63 BPs.

9/25/10 -- Westford held a multi-department Emergency Preparedness Day, staffed by 20 volunteers (including 5 focused on ham radio), taking 153 BPs.

9/25/10 -- In support of Statewide Microchip Day, ten volunteers served in shifts of two members each, at four veterinary sites across the region (two in Lowell and two in Westford).

9/28/10 -- Ninety volunteers participated in our Member Appreciation Dinner.

Total 72-hour kits sold: 14
Total BPs: 373
Total volunteers: 137
Total value: Priceless!

Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps, 23 Depot Street, Westford, MA 01886